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Brussels Collectible Plans New York Edition, Fashion Appeal Grows

MILANDries Van Noten, fashion boutique architects Gonzalez Haase, and Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud, former artistic directors of Carven, are just a few fashion names you might catch at Brussels’ curated design fair Collectible running from Thursday to Sunday. On Wednesday, organizers revealed that due to the success of the fair and its resonance across creative fields, it will see its doors open in New York in September.

With its fashion appeal growing, the fair’s seventh season will also mark the return to its original location, the Vanderborght building, formerly a ’30s department store that was once a contender to house the Royal Museums of Fine Arts.

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What sets the fair apart from other collectible art and design exhibitions around the world, its cofounder Liv Vaisberg explained to WWD, is the unexpected connections made there between galleries, architects and even fashion designers across the venue’s 53,819 square feet.

“The architects that work for fashion got really excited and I wanted them to get to know our world more — we want designers to collaborate with private collectors,” Vaisberg said, adding that the feedback from fashion is that Collectible opens people’s minds and it is also a place to scout trends.

On the design calendar, Collectible follows Paris’ Matter and Shape, a new design salon under the creative direction of Dan Thawley, the former editor in chief of A Magazine Curated By.

Matter and Shape is directly aimed at attracting buyers and editors who have a strong connection with the fashion scene. Rick Owens, Sacai, Charlotte Chesnais, Delfina Delettrez Fendi and Kym Ellery were some of the industry names who showcased at the inaugural edition.

Brussels Collectible founders Liiv Vaisberg (L) and Clelie Debehault (R)
Liv Vaisberg and Clélie Debehault

Returning to Collectible for the second edition in a row will be Amca Oval, the sustainable fashion-to-home project launched in 2021 by Martial and Caillaudaud. They previously worked at Givenchy, following which Martial worked with Paco Rabanne and Iceberg, while Caillaudaud worked at Marc Jacobs, Jil Sander, Tod’s, Saint Laurent and Lanvin. Following this, they both took over as artistic directors of Carven in 2015. “As artistic directors in fashion we were always thinking about where our clients live and always looking to design clothes around a woman in her space,” Caillaudaud added.

For the upcoming edition, they will be showcasing their Aurora lamp and Aurora Library modular system as well as rugs from their Vibrations series, which are extracts from hand drawings. The modular system will sit beside coffee tables, lamps and rugs to create a living room playground dedicated to contemporary living. Each piece is envisaged as a limited-edition item and is made from circular materials and deadstock.

Caillaudaud said Collectible’s appeal in comparison to other fairs is the “intimacy.” “It’s more a place that draws a few key people who want to discover things and who are in the mood to meet people,” he said, underscoring the high calibre of galleries and luxury buyers for Le Bon Marché, for example, who are passionate about design.

“We didn’t expect to have this high level at this fair,” he said.

Elsewhere, Swedish designer Ann-Sofie Back’s brand Gnilmyd Kcab will showcase accessories for the home inspired by the worlds of fashion and art. Topics like femininity, decadence and vanity drove the creation of her Scalp lampshade, which resembles a wig, in addition to her Trophy rug in fake coyote fur.

Morgane Baroghel-Crucq is a fiber artist who joined the Académie des Savoir Faire, a Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès program, in 2019 and who recently won the Grands Prix de le Création de la Ville de Paris. She will be showcasing her work with silk and metal fibers, alongside the three other winners Juliette Berthonneau, Solenne Jolivet and Julie Rochoz as part of a special project.

Vaisberg and her business partner Clélie Debehault started Collectible in 2018. Since then they have showcased the work of major proponents of the design world like Muller van Severen and hosted galleries such as Brussels-based gallery Maniera, Mendes-Wood (which is present in São Paolo, Brussels, Paris and New York) and Ghent, Belgium-based Atelier Ecru.

Among the main draws are the emerging galleries section as well as the Curated section, which serves as a space for radical experimentation and discovery in design. This season it will be chaired by Rotterdam-based curator and educator Rawad Baaklini. Vaisberg said she was told Van Noten and designer Johan Viladrich, who eventually helped Van Noten design his Sydney and Los Angeles stores, met at Collectible.

“The full grasp of the fair as it unravels shows a lot of interaction between the fair and fashion and this occurs more and more as the fair evolves. Fashion people really get inspired by design, it’s probably mutual,” Vaisberg said.

Collectible has partnered with downtown New York arts and cultural spaces WSA and Water Street Projects to bring forth this latest iteration of the fair during the Armory Show Sept. 5 to 8.

Organizers said the event will blend the expertise of European galleries and designers with American counterparts, infusing distinct European flair into the American design crowd.

“This transatlantic collaboration epitomizes our shared dedication to advancing design discourse and providing a platform for designers to showcase their visionary work,” Debehault said.

Collectible Vanderborght building
The Vanderborght building.